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Category Archives: Humility

Journey 9 Day 8: Lament and Celebration

Having begun my Journey of celebration it feels that events of the past week have made it at times quite difficult to celebrate. The events in the Middle East and the outcome of the Women Bishop’s vote in the Church of England General Synod are but two examples.

Lament is a motif and way of being that is profoundly biblical. I have again been drawn to Walter Bruggemann’s Spirituality of the Psalms. And the Thread of Orientation, Disorientation and Reorientation.

I am thankful to say that in the midst of this Lament and difficulty I have been able to find a way to celebrate with legitimacy and integrity.

On Monday I was at LICC celebrating their 30th Anniversary. I am very thankful for the vision and work of LICC. They have played a significant role in my life, discipleship and growing faith. They have really highlighted the importance of whole life discipleship and the brilliant and releasing truth that all of life, all vocations, all moments are part of who we are and how we can live out our Christian faith.

Yesterday I was at HTB at the Fresh Expressions conference ‘ Following the Missionary Spirit‘. After the events of the Synod Vote it was so good and so encouraging to be able to look at this movement of the church and see its positive impact. Archbishop Rowan Williams spoke profoundly about the importance of the Church being challenged and renewed by the margins, the edges and the bold risk takers and prophets who are prepared to step out, ask questions, pioneer and think outside the box. He spoke brilliantly, honestly and with real clarity about the importance of reimagining church.

Bishop Graham Cray also gave this excellent talk on the reasons to be thankful and also to be hopeful going forward.

It was then great to move from this event to Thanksgiving last night and celebrate and be thankful with a great group of friends.

I am therefore celebrating that even in the midst of some real challenges and lament, there is a place, a needed place, for good and genuine celebration! May the Journey continue.

 

 
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Posted by on November 23, 2012 in Change, Food, Generosity, Humility

 

Journey 8 Day 34: Follow Friday

Twitter users will know that on Friday’s there is a thing called ‘Follow Friday’ known as #FF

This Friday in the spirit of hospitality I wanted to share some sites/links/good stuff that I have been finding helpful as I have been taking these journeys and just doing life in general as a disciple and human being.

I do this in humility, knowing that others have loads more to offer and share but also in a spirit of community and sharing and recognising we are better and stronger together when we resource and encourage, challenge and inspire each other.

Talks:

Greenbelt Talks (Loads of great talks, lots of free ones as well from previous years)

Rob Bell: The Two Kinds of New (Just a great talk and so helpful in so many ways)

Pete Rollins: Being Human (From Mars Hill Bible Church, October 2012)

Tom Wright: Forgotten Message of the Gospels

Podcasts:

Nomad Podcast (Great range of interviews exploring community and new forms of church)

Websites:

Breathe Network A Christian network for simpler living.

The School of Life The School of Life is a new enterprise offering good ideas for everyday life.

Rhythms Great ‘Village’ website with articles and amazing interactive space for action!

Blogs: (Where do you begin! So many, so here are just a few)

Jonny Baker Another World is Possible

A New Name Emma Scrivener

A Servant’s Life Frank Ritchie

The Good Stuff Jenny Flannagan

David Westlake What on earth is God doing and how do I join in

Rachel Held Evans asking big questions about faith, doubt, culture, gender and the Church.

 

Rhythms: Doing Justice in the Mundane

<p><a href=”http://vimeo.com/51067775″>A Justice Generation</a> from <a href=”http://vimeo.com/tearfundfilms”>Tearfund</a&gt; on <a href=”http://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>

Tearfund have this week launched the quite brilliant Rhythms.

We are a community of people who want to change the world by taking regular actions that help us build lifestyle rhythms of Advocacy, Contentment, Connection and Generosity. We have a global perspective and we love people and the planet. We believe in following Jesus and that means we live different. Individuals across the UK, including our amazing Emerging Influencers lead us all as they campaign, make a noise about injustice, love being generous and putting themselves and their stuff into perspective.

The Rhythms team are group of dynamic individuals brought together to dare to believe that this generation can do something amazing. These make-it-happen dreamers can be found at events, in coffee shops and churches up and down the country. Meet the team here.

Want to be inspired? Want to be equipped? You’re in the right place and more importantly, you’re with the right people. Join this growing community by signing up to Rhythms as well as joining the conversation on Facebook and Twitter.

I have just had my first contribution to Rhythms called ‘Justice in the Mundane‘ published today.

Its so important to dream dreams and think big picture but its also important to act justly, love mercy and walk humbly with God in the mundane, everyday things of life. Discipleship is all of life for the whole of life!

 
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Posted by on November 7, 2012 in Generosity, Humility, Passion, theology

 

Journey 5 Day 16 – Welcomed

I have just returned from a very special weekend away with my church at Ashburnham place. Truly wonderful in so many ways. The theme of the weekend was ‘Welcome’ and it included the theme of how we are welcomed by God. The passage of the Son and The Father (Luke 15) was used to highlight the lavish, outrageous and amazing welcome we are entitled to receive by God. A recurring theme from my readings in Nouwen’s Bread for the Journey and The Return of the Prodigal Son.

To know that welcome, to fully receive it, live in it, live out of that place and to do so with true generosity, gratitude, awe, wonder and acceptance is a profound, freeing and beautiful thing.

Its also beautiful (and very hard) to really know that and live out of that place, but so so important!

Looking forward to discovering more of that this week and beyond!

Today has been a hectic day after the oasis of the weekend but it was so great to be welcomed to Evening Liturgical prayer at 5pm and then also to a great meeting in the evening to be able to explore lots in terms of God being at work in and through his church in Southall. A real couple of oasis moments in the midst of a busy, messy, buzzy and odd kind of day.

Thank you God for the welcome you give to us and the way you use others to bless and welcome us

 
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Posted by on June 25, 2012 in Generosity, Humility, Journey 5

 

Journey 4 – Day 30 – Giving, Forgiving and Receiving

Miroslav Volf continues to challenge me and inspire me through his amazing book ‘Free of Charge’. In the section I have been reading this week he talks a lot about the importance of giving having first understood and received the goodness, love and nature of God. God is the utterly loving giver. God does not just love, He is love! Ephesians 5: 1-2 encourages us to be imitators of God. In one sense that’s so hard as we are not and never can or will be God. But he has made us in his image (Gen 1:26-28, Psalm 139) and we can

1) Give when we delight in someone

2) Give to others when they are in need

3) Give to help others give

(Volf, Free of Charge p68-69)

I was also reminded afresh yesterday of the importance of receiving as well as giving. I took some time out to meet up with a friend who is involved in running an urban retreat centre and who has a vast wealth of knowledge and experience in the art of contemplative prayer, reflection and meditation and practising the art of retreat.

I was hosted so well and treated to a really warm, rich and helpful conversation. I did it to help me think and prepare for my next themed journey on Contemplation which starts on the 9th June. I got to spend some time in the retreat centre after our conversation and was really struck by the theme of being rooted.

Rooted in Love, Rooted in Christ and Rooted in Community, Family and relationships and from that rooting  comes the outflow of action, but the action can only be legitimate and have deep rooted integrity because of its rooting and the origins first of internal transformation leading to an external, outworked transformation.

I am thankful for the challenges and blessings of the day and resolve to both give and receive to and from others and also from God in his Love, goodness and mercy.

 

Journey 4 – Day 28 – The Beautiful Disciplines

I had a really great as well as really challenging time preparing for and leading a session with a great group of young people from St John’s Southall this morning. They have been journeying through a series on the spiritual disciplines and today’s was on simplicity.

We took our inspiration from Richard Foster The Celebration of discipline and a really helpful and engaging book by Martin Saunders called ‘The Beautiful Disciplines

Using the interactive, session themed resources in this book was brilliant as we got the chance to look at our priorities, our possessions and our time in a way that was helpful and challenging. We had to list 10 things that we thought were essential to our lives and then try to reduce that list down to just 5. Not at all easy. Especially as so recently I had to make a list of everything I had in my life!

We were inspired and challenged by 1 Timothy 6: 6-10

But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.

It brought up some great discussion, especially about the importance of who we are, who we are becoming and the importance of character and core ethos in connection with what we do and what our goals, careers and aims are. Wealth and Money are themselves not a problem, provided our attitude towards them is healthy and orientated towards generosity rather than simply selfish gain.

The conclusion of today was to live open handedly, to hold onto what we have lightly and when we do possess things to be more thankful and more aware of the blessing that they can bring not only to ourselves but also to others.

As this session and my reading has shown me so far, There is a very strong link between simplicity and generosity. Simplicity has to be lived out in Generosity. For that reason alone these are two disciplines that indeed are beautiful and indeed should be celebrated and embraced.

 
 

Journey 3 Day 38 – Less is More

 

After a week of silence on this blog and ceasing to speak (apart from 2 other people speaking in the form of short films) I am returning to break my silence.

I’ve had time to stop, think, process, reflect and try to learn a little of the art of patience, waiting and ceasing to speak. Its been good and also quite hard at times. But I’m glad to agree that Less is More. Quality over quantity is something I don’t always find easy to do, but it really is a virtue…. patience and humility are to.

So it all fits well that my reading today (Thanks to trains and coffee shops) was Brian Drapers rather brilliant book called ‘Less is More‘. Its simplicity and profundity is brilliant. It reaffirms the important things I was learning through my simplicity journey and doing consumer detox.

Its a book that explores the importance of building rhythms into our lives that allow us to cherish life in all its fullness. To seek to be more alive by being more fully present in each moment and to allow gratitude, imagination, creativity and discovery and many more wonderful things into our lives. A deep Yes to contentment. Summed up well with this verse from Philippians.

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Philippians 4:8

And so with work, birthdays and other things to be involved with this weekend, My journey exploring humility is almost at an end. I am thankful for the space to have both contemplated and also aspired to humility. May it be the springboard to a deep rooted and genuine generosity… Generosity being my 4th journey starting on Monday 30th April.

 
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Posted by on April 27, 2012 in birthday, Humility, Journey 3